The World Bank has recently released the 17th edition of Doing Business, a publication analysing the impact of regulations on business activities, in particular by taking twelve areas of the life of a business into account: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, employing workers, and contracting with the government.
The best performers on the ease of doing business ranking are: Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Georgia, United Stated, the Republic of Korea, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore and the top player New Zealand. According to the study 22 reforms have been adopted in the 20 top-ranking economies and the report highlights that since 2003/04 the 20 best performers carried out a total of 464 regulatory reforms, meaning that there is always room to enhance the business environment, even in contexts that apparently do not need improvements.
Among the most encouraging findings, Doing Business shows that many of the lowest-ranked economies are putting their efforts in implementing reforms for a better business environment. An example is offered by Myanmar which introduced an ambitious reform programme allowing the country to rise out of the bottom 20 to a ranking of 165.
The top-ranking economies have several common elements: they have online business incorporation processes, electronic tax filing platforms and allow online procedures related to property transfers. Furthermore their business regulation is characterized by a high degree of transparency.
The economies that improved the best their regulations to ease doing business are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria. In particular they focused on three areas: starting a business, dealing with constructions permits, and trading across borders.
Please have a look at the study available here to access more data and insights.